22nd September, 1972Vol. 2. No. 16.

Editorial Comment

At the J.C.C. Meeting held on Thursday, 14th September, Mr. B. Eaves, Chairman of the Warrington H.M.C., suggested that the Publications Committee review the present form and future development of The Standard under three main headings:

1.Frequency of Publication.
2.Should it become a Group magazine?
3.Should it publish letters or articles adversely critical of something or someone?

As a guide to Management Committee thinking on these points Mr. Eaves remarked that:

1.Weekly publication is both time and resource consuming, and probably unnecessary.
2. Efforts are being made to promote Group unity. The Standard could be converted into a Group magazine to assist this process.
3.Proper channels already exist for this.

Please make your thoughts or suggestions known to any member of the Publications Committee. It is best to do this in writing, and you should indicate whether your letter may or may not be published.

Social Therapy Review

Last week we resumed the two mixed games sessions, Monday afternoon and Friday afternoon for the more active members of the hospital. We have introduced two new games, modified to suit our purposes, volley-ball and badminton, which initially have been very enthusiastically received.

Since the first fishing in September, sufficient interest has been aroused to form a fishing club for both patients and staff. Several staff, including Mr. Jolley, Roy Mather, Mr Casson, Jack Hudson, Alan Bradbury and Stan Jones have joined and the very first meeting will be held on Monday 25th at 6.00 p.m. in the Social Therapy Department. All interested patients please attend.

On Thursday 14th September the rounders team had their last match of the season against Royal Albert hospital, away. The team won by 8 rounders to l. The final match, Champions v. The Rest is to take place on September 28th at Lancaster Moor Hospital where two representatives for the Winwick team will take part.

A forthcoming attraction for staff and patients alike is a visit to see Crosfields Amateur Operatic Society perform the very popular "Fiddler on the Roof". The coach will leave the female gym at 6.30 p.m. on October 3rd and the cost is 62p inclusive of seats and coach. Please book your seats at the Social Therapy Department.

K. Appleton.

T.V. Date

Anyone who saw the first part, of the current Science series on BBC 2 - "The Violent Universe" - should be looking forward to part two, "The Mind of Man", which will be'screened at 5.15 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). The series, which is in three parts, has been shown before, but many staff will welcome a second chance to see tomorrow's two hour programme, described as a "world-wide exploration into the current state of knowledge in the field of human psychology".

Publications Committee.

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I watched the film made by Reckits and Coleman of Hull, on the Rehabilitation of the deteriorated schizophrenic, which was shown in the Teaching Department recently with great interest. The locations of the filming were in the grounds of De La Pole Hospital, situated a few miles outside the city of Hull, and at Aldsborough - a thinly populated coastal hamlet about 15 miles from the Hospital. The patients in the film were some of the long-stay population of the De La Pole Hospital.

Being, a native of Hull, and having worked at De La Pole Hospital for the first 12 years of my nursing career, and seeing in the film many well-known land marks and two or three familiar faces among the patients, the film brought back many happy memories of my nursing service at De La Pole, and the pride always associated with the hospital where one has trained.

The principal architects behind the great changes that took place at De La Pole Hospital, from the traditional authoritation, prison-like atmosphere to a therapeutic community, were the dynamic and forceful medical superintendent, Dr. Bickford, and the nursing staff.

To illustrate Dr. Bickford's drive and, in some cases, controversial treatment of the long-stay patient, I recall that in or around 1957/58 Dr. Bickford requisitioned for seven bicycles to be purchased, and asked the Deputy Chief Male Nurse, for whom I had a very personal regard as he and I had been seconded to take general nurse training together in 1947/49, to take six long-stay male schizophrenics on a seven-day cycling holiday, and to stay overnight at hostels which cater for this type of holiday maker.

I met my old friend and colleague, Bob Phillips early in the 1960s at a Chief Male Nurses' annual conference, and he told me that the patients had enjoyed their cycling holiday, and that various problems had arisen but none that couldn't be dealt with as they developed. Bob also told me that the following year Dr. Bickford sent a group of deteriorated patients, accompanied by adequate nursing staff with all the necessary equipment on a camping holiday in Switzerland.

Winwick Hospital, of course, are in the first division in their rehabilitation treatment, because, apart from the usual methods - such as holidays at Blackpool, Butlins Holiday Camps, Day coach outings, various working projects and Industrial and occupational activities - for some time now a party of long-stay patients have been to a weekly swimming sessions at the Warrington swimming baths. A fishing being formed, and recently 20 male patients enjoyed the first fishing trip, when they visited the River Clwyd at Rhyl, and this summer a day's outing with our long-stay patients was spent at Blue John Mines in Derbyshire, and I'm assured one has to be extremely energetic to negotiate underground passages.

J. E. Wright.

Coldharbour Hospital

Evidence Given at the Inquires

The fire at Coldharbour Hospital, Sherbourne, broke out at about 2.30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5th in Winfrith Villa ward dormitory which contained 36 mentally subnormal men between the ages of 14 and 49.

Two male nurses were in the ward at the time and two of the ward's four doors were locked.

The alarm was given some 28 minutes later at 2.58 a.m.

Seven patients were rescued, one of whom subsequently died. The remaining 29 died in or near their beds.

Winfrith Villa ward had recently been upgraded and its dormitory had been sectionalised with partitions and space dividers to.provide two, three and four berth cubicles. The upgrading was part of an experiment, which had attracted considerabie attention from similar hospitals and institutions throughout the U.K. and abroad, to create a less institutionalised atmosphere.for the patients, to provide each of them with something approaching an individual room and to restore, as far as possible, their human dignity.

Evidence and Summing Up

Mr. Sofer, Counsel for the Treasury Solicitor

"The only conclusion as to the cause of the blaze was that it was started by one of the patients who did not appreciate the consequences of starting a fire."

Mr. Desond Vowden, QC. Chairman of the Inquiry

"Autopsies had been carried out on four of the fatalities and had shown death due to carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation due to smoke inhalation. Any burning which had taken place had occurred after death or after consciousness had been lost."

Station Officer Hicks, Sherbourne Fire Station

On arrival at Winfrith Villa almost the whole of the North of the building was on fire, with smoke and flames coming out of the window. He asked three different people, all apparently connected with the Hospital, if there were any patients inside the dormitory, None of them knew. Then he found a nurse who replied, "They're all in there". The fire was under control in 10 minutes.

Mr. F.J. Rawles, Night nursing assistant on Winfrith ward

said that he had been on that job since August 1970 and had previously worked as a nursing assistant since 1959.

It was strictly prohibited for patients to smoke in the dormitory but he had never been told that he could not smoke there. He often used to smoke at his night duty desk and kept an ashtray there.

He had read the notices of fire precautions and once had the workings of the alarm system explained to him. He had also been present during evacuation drill on another ward. He did not know where all the alarm points were. He did not know that there were any specific fire doors and had not been told anything about them. He had always found them tagged open. All EXIT DOORS were locked at night in accordance with his standing instructions. He knew of the faulty lock on the North door.

At about 1.10 a.m. he was relieved and took his break on another ward. Before he left the ward he lit a cigarette with his lighter, and that was the last time he could remember seeing it. It was not until after the fire that he found his lighter missing.

Mr. Stoddart, Charge nurse of Winfrith and three other wards.

said that he had been a mental nurse since 1935 and a charge nurse for 18 years. He retired on July 7th owing to the ill effects of the fire on his health.

On the night of the fire, shortly after 1.00 a.m. he relieved the nurse on Yetminster ward, a Mr. Rizzutti, so that he could relieve Mr. Rawles on Winfrith. After carrying out his relief, he went to Winfrith.

Mr. Rawles was-sitting at his night desk in the dormitory.

They talked for some minutes and then he said he intended to take his 40 minute break. Mr. Rawles offered to make him a cup of tea. They both went to the kitchen where they both sat having a cup of tea and a cigarette.

After about 15 - 20 minutes there was a cry from the dormitory. He sent Rawles to investigate, After a few seconds Rawles shouted for him and he went to the dormitory. He could see nothing but smoke. He pulled two patients out but could not see much because of smoke and partitions.

He did not know that the fire doors should be closed at all times. He thought that if there were a fire they would be closed to stop the fire spreading from one part of the villa to the other.

Mr. Rawles, Night Nursing Assistant

When he and Mr. Stoddart heard the cry in the kitchen, he ran to the dormitory and saw the fire. He raised the alarm and took a hosereel to the ward, but he could not get near because of the smoke. He did what he could to help there then ran round and opened the unlocked north door.

The only explanation he could give for the disappearance of his lighter was that it must have fallen from his pocket when he was getting up from his chair at the night desk. He was positive that he had not left it on the desk.

He said that it would be quite easy for an addictive smoker on WWinfrith to obtain matches. It would be very difficult for him to stop them doing this.

Dr. Rucker, Physician Superintendent,

"The hospital's policy on smoking was crystal clear. No smoking was permitted by any patient on the dormitory and he would expect the staff to set a good example. Patients on Winfrith were allowed cigarettes but were not allowed matches or cigarette lighters. Several patients on Winfrith did not smoke habitually but would smoke a cigarette if someone gave them one.

He had insisted that a night nursing desk be provided in the dormitory so that the patients could be under supervision at all times.

He said that he wanted exits from the ward and asked for a wire fence to be erected so that patients could walk freely out of doors. Winfrith was not technically a locked ward, although there was one patient who had dangerous propensities as far as children were concerned and there were at least two who would. be capable of scaling the wire. This was acceptable within the basis of constant supervision.

Dr. Hucker said that he had no objection to a night nurse making tea - night-nursing was a boring and often unpleasant duty - providing the supervision of the patients was not affected.

Mr. Sofer

Whatever critcism there might be of Mr. Rawles and Mr. Stoddart (the nursing assistant and charge nurse on the ward at the time of the fire) for leaving the dormitory area to have a cup of tea in the ward kitchen, they had both acted promptly and bravely when they found there was a fire,. So had other members of the nursing staff.

The material for this article was taken from Fire the Journal of the British Fire Services.

Publications Committee.

Cacti and Other Succulents

In Vol. 2 Nos. 7 8, 9 and 10 I wrote a few articles on Cacti and other Succulents. I hope they were of some interest to you, but now I am about to tell you of some of the pests and diseases of these plants, and some of their cures.

One of the worst pests on Cacti is called 'Mealy Bug'. This bug eats everything it comes into contact with, and is not all that easy to detect on the plants.

'Mealy-Bugs' are a delicate pink to white in colour, about 1/8" long and 1/32" thick, and they can move very quickly when disturbed. If at any time you see one, remove it as soon as possible with a match stick or a pin, but try not to damage the plant while scraping it off, as this would leave an open wound for other diseases to get into. Once you have got the mealy bug off, squash it, or it will soon find another hiding place.

When mealy-bugs breed they lay hundreds of eggs in a very small, woolly ball, about 3/16" diameter. These can be removed and destroyed by the same method as the adult ones.

I have said mealy bugs can move very quickly if one jumps while you are trying to remove it don't try looking for it because it will be gone. It has been known that they can jump about ten feet up in the air and glide about the same distance. They are nothing to be afraid of and are harmless to human beings.

There are other methods of killing mealy bugs using liquid malathion or smoke pellets, or nicotine. If these are used always wash your hands immediately after use.

Other pests, such as Red-Spider, Black Fly, Green Fly, or Scale insect, can only be killed by using liquid malation. Smoke pellets may be used only when the plants are wet and are in a greenhouse, but they are NOT SAFE to use where children are playing nearby or if there are any persons about having a chest or heart complaint.


Bert Green

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Work Study, Part 4

The Human Factor: The Worker

Work Study has been abused by so many people - mostly those who have had little or nothing to do with it - that it is generally supposed to strain relations between workers and management, If the relationship is already a bad one almost anything will strain it, because the workers will be suspicious of everything the management does. Equally, if the workers have confidence in the sincerity and integrity of the management, almost any sound technique will be accepted and can be made to work.

Contrary to the widely held belief, work study, properly applied, tends to improve industrial relations particularly if workers and their representatives are kept fully informed of all that is being done, with all study sheets readily available for inspection.

Workers are usually glad to be rid of interruptions and welcome the improvements in the flow of work and the supply of materials that is brought about by Work Study especially if they are on a system of payment by results.

There are, however, some important factors which may cause workers to resist the introduction of work study, There may be strong resistance to changes in method as the result of Method Study, especially from older, skilled workers. Indeed, it may prove impossible to get some workers to change to new methods, for skilled workers who have been at their trades for many years believe themselves masters of their crafts, as indeed they usually are, If changes are demanded of them, and even if they are shown how to increase productivity and to improve quality, they will tend to resist those changes.. This is partly because humans dislike change (unless they make the change themselves), but also because these changes shake their confidence in their own ability as craftsmen and may lower their prestige in the eyes of their fellows.

Many workers resent being timed; this may be due to either a suspicion of the stopwatch which can usually be dispelled if its use is properly explained - or simply that having someone standing watching worries them. It is not usually possible or even necessary to give instructionz in work study to individual workers, beyond explaining the general purpose of it, but workers representatives should be given the same course as foremen. If they have such training at the same time as the representatives of management it will be seen that nothing is being concealed. Nothing breeds suspicion like attempts to hide what is being done, and nothing dispels it like frankness. Work study honestly applied has nothing to hide.

There is often a fear of redundancy arising out of the results of work study leading either to unemployment or transfer to another department. This is a real problem which must be faced and discussed by the management and the unions so that a proper policy can be arrived at. It is, however, possible to overstress it. In most undertakings great improvements in productivity can generally be effected through the application of work study to better plant utilisation and operation, more effective use of space and,greater economy of materials before the question of raising the productivity of the labour force need be pressed. In many cases it may actually pay to increase the number of workers serving a given piece of plant if, by doing so, the percentage of time per shift which the plant is running can be increased. The importance of studying the productivity of all the resources of the enterprise and not confining the application of work study to the productivity of labour alone cannot be over emphasised.

It is important to note that, quite apart from any fear of redundancy, workers very naturally resent efforts being made to improve their output or efficiency while they can see glaring inefficiency on the part of the management going unrectified. What is the use of halving the workers time to do a certain job by well applied method study and giving him output standards set by work measurement if he is constantly being held up by lack of materials or a constant flow of work due to bad planning by management?

These remarks are not intended to detract from the importance of redundancy and job re-allocation but is simply an attempt to put them in the right perspective.

J. Shaw.


Mr. De Holcroft - Senior Pharmacist

Sharon Hayes - Cadet.


Mr. H, Casey - Staff Nurse.

Squadron Leader Fitton will be visiting Ex Service patients on Tuesday 26th September, 10.00 a.m. - 4,00 p.m.

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